American astronomer and writer, 1855-1916. A member of the distinguished Lowell family of Massachusetts; brother of poet Amy Lowell and Harvard University president Abbott Lowell. Lowell predicted the existence of the planet Pluto and initiated the search that ended in its discovery. During the period 188393 he devoted himself to literature and travel, much of the time in the Far East, which he described in Chosön (1886), The Soul of the Far East (1888), Noto (1891), and Occult Japan (1895). In the 1890s, inspired by the report of canals on Mars, Lowell decided to study the planet. He championed the theory that intelligent Martians constructed a planet-wide system of irrigation. Lowell published his views in three books: Mars (1895), Mars and Its Canals (1906), and Mars As the Abode of Life (1908).
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